Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Earmarks Discussion Focuses Disproportionately On Democrats

Reported by Ellen - July 30, 2007 -

Hannity & Colmes largely ignored the passage of the Homeland Security Bill last week (other than to focus on the provision granting immunity to those who informed on the flying imams) which fulfilled last fall’s Democratic pledge to pass additional recommendations of the 9/11 Commission that had languished under the Republican-led Congress. But instead of giving the Democratic Congress credit, on Friday night (7/27/07), the show aired a critical review of Congressional earmarks that just happened to focus more on Democrats than Republicans. With video.

The discussion noted that Republican Congressman C.W. Bill Young “leads the pack” in earmarks but after a cursory review of Young’s record, all the other earmarks mentioned came from Democrats: Reps. Pelosi, Murtha and Eshoo. B-roll footage played during the discussion was almost entirely of Murtha, though some was of Pelosi and some had both of them, just to drive home the point.

The sole guest for the discussion was Tom Schatz, of Citizens Against Government Waste. While the organization calls itself non-partisan, Schatz reserved almost all of his criticism for Democrats. When Alan Colmes pointed out that many of the appropriations were for important expenditures such as body armor and night sensors for the troops, Schatz nonetheless responded that those items were not warranted because they had not been requested by the Pentagon.

Schatz then gratuitously slurred Murtha, saying he was “certainly an example of the worst sort of thing in Congress. He has a VERY COZY (Schatz' emphasis) relationship with contractors back home.”

There are plenty of Republicans with VERY COZY relationships with contractors – Dick Cheney and Randy “Duke” Cunningham leap immediately to mind – but somehow I have yet to see any Hannity & Colmes discussions about any monies they may have wasted.

An article in Forbes (a FOX News fave) states that earmarks account for only 1-2% of federal outlays, compared to 20% on defense and 8-9% on interest on the debt. But I have never seen any Hannity & Colmes discussion on the missing billions of dollars which the Coalition Provisional Authority was unable to account for in Iraq, nor the fact that Republicans blocked oversight legislation of private military contractors as documented in Iraq For Sale (disclosure: I was one of the researchers for that film). Nor have I seen any discussion of the ethics complaint against Republican Lisa Murkowsi or the other Alaskan Republicans currently under a cloud.